Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS7599598 B2
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 11/502,595
Publication dateOct 6, 2009
Filing dateAug 9, 2006
Priority dateAug 9, 2006
Fee statusPaid
Also published asEP2049932A2, US8121456, US20080037945, US20100034506, WO2008020997A2, WO2008020997A3
Publication number11502595, 502595, US 7599598 B2, US 7599598B2, US-B2-7599598, US7599598 B2, US7599598B2
InventorsJeff Gniadek, Erik Gronvall, Tom Marcouiller, John Clifton Cobb, III
Original AssigneeAdc Telecommunications, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cable payout systems and methods
US 7599598 B2
Abstract
A method for deploying a telecommunications cable includes obtaining a payout arrangement including a length of cable, selecting one of the first end and the second end of the length of cable to access; accessing the selected end of the length of cable; and pulling the selected end to unwind the length of cable from the payout arrangement. In some embodiments, the cable is arranged around adjacent spools. In other embodiments, the cable is arranged within a container with access opening on the top and bottom. In still other embodiments, the cable is wound around a spool and at least one spacer.
Images(10)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(22)
1. A payout arrangement for storing a telecommunications cable, the payout arrangement comprising:
a base;
a first spool mounted on the base, the first spool configured to rotate about a central axis of the first spool;
a second spool mounted on the base adjacent the first spool, the second spool configured to rotate about a central axis of the second spool; and
a length of telecommunications cable having a first end and a second end, the length of cable having a first section and a second section, the first section being wound around the first spool and the second section being wound around the second spool;
wherein the first end of the length of cable is accessible from the first spool and the second end of the length of cable is accessible from the second spool, and
wherein the length of cable is configured to be fully unwound by pulling on either one of the first and second ends.
2. The payout arrangement of claim 1, wherein an intermediate section of the length of cable is wound in a “figure eight” pattern around the first and second spools.
3. The payout arrangement of claim 1, wherein an intermediate section of the length of cable is wound in a “cassette deck” pattern.
4. The payout arrangement of claim 1, wherein a second end portion of each of the first and second spools is configured to retain the section of cable wound around the respective spool.
5. The payout arrangement of claim 4, wherein the first and second spools each include a middle portion extending from the base to the second end portion.
6. The payout arrangement of claim 4, wherein the first and second spools each include a middle portion extending from a first end portion to the second end portion.
7. A payout arrangement for storing a telecommunications cable, the payout arrangement comprising:
a spool extending longitudinally from a first end to a second end, the spool configured to rotate about a central axis, the spool having a diameter;
at least one spacer extending longitudinally along the spool, the at least one spacer having a height; and
a length of cable having a first end and a second end, the length of cable being wound around the spool and the at least one spacer to form a coil, the coil having an inner diameter greater than the diameter of the spool;
wherein the inner diameter of the coil is sufficient to enable access to either one of the first and second ends of the length of cable.
8. The payout arrangement of claim 7, wherein the at least one spacer includes four spacers positioned at substantially equidistant points around the spool and wherein the length of cable is wrapped around the four spacers.
9. The payout arrangement of claim 7, further comprising a housing configured to secure the length of cable to the spool after the length of cable has been wound, the housing also configured to allow access to the first and second ends of the cable.
10. The payout arrangement of claim 9, wherein the housing includes a front panel defining at least one opening sized to enable one of the ends of the length of cable to pass through.
11. The payout arrangement of claim 9, wherein one of the first and second ends of the length of cable is connectorized and the housing is configured to retain the connectorized end.
12. The payout arrangement of claim 9, wherein the spool defines a passage extending from a first end portion to a second end portion of the spool along a central axis, the passage being sized to receive a rod about which the spool can rotate.
13. A payout arrangement comprising:
a container having a top and a bottom, the container including opposing sides and opposing ends extending between the opposing sides, the opposing sides and the opposing ends defining an interior of the container;
first and second top cover panels coupled to the opposing sides on the top of the container, the top cover panels being configured to pivot from a closed position to an open position in which the interior of the container is accessible through the top of the container, the top cover panels also being configured to pivot to a deployment position;
first and second bottom cover panels coupled to the opposing sides on the bottom of the container, the bottom cover panels being configured to pivot from a closed position to an open position in which the interior of the container is accessible through the bottom of the container, the bottom cover panels also being configured to pivot to a deployment position;
a length of cable wound in a figure-eight pattern within the interior of the container, the length of cable having a first end and a second end, the first end being accessible through the top of the container when the top cover panels are arranged in the deployment position, and the second end being accessible through the bottom of the container when the bottom cover panels are arranged in the deployment position.
14. The payout arrangement of claim 13, further comprising:
top tab panels coupled to the opposing ends of the container on the top of the container, the top tab panels configured to pivot from a closed position to an open position and to a deployment position, the top tab panels being configured to interlock with the top cover panels; and
bottom tab panels coupled to the opposing ends of the container on the bottom side of the container, the bottom tab panels configured to pivot from a closed position to an open position and to a deployment position, the bottom tab panels being configured to interlock with the bottom cover panels.
15. The payout arrangement of claim 14, wherein the top and bottom cover panels define slots and the top and bottom tab panels include tabs, the tabs being configured to be inserted into the slots of the respective top and bottom cover panels.
16. The payout arrangement of claim 13, further comprising:
first and second guides positioned within the interior of the container; the first and second guides configured to facilitate winding of the length of cable.
17. The payout arrangement of claim 16, wherein the first and second guides are generally cylindrical in shape.
18. The payout arrangement of claim 16, wherein the first and second guides are affixed to the top and bottom tab panels of the container.
19. The payout arrangement of claim 13, further comprising at least one outer guide configured to inhibit tangling of the length of cable.
20. The payout arrangement of claim 19, wherein the at least one outer guide includes a plurality of outer guides positioned in corners of the container.
21. The payout arrangement of claim 1, wherein the first section of the length of cable includes about half of the length of cable and the second section of the length of cable includes about half of the length of cable.
22. The payout arrangement of claim 1, wherein the base defines an opening through which the base is configured to be mounted to a rod prior to deployment.
Description
TECHNICAL FIELD

The principles disclosed herein relate to cable systems. More particularly, the present disclosure relates to storage and deployment of cables.

BACKGROUND

Passive optical networks are becoming prevalent in part because service providers want to deliver high bandwidth communication capabilities to customers. Passive optical networks are a desirable choice for delivering high speed communication data because they may not employ active electronic devices, such as amplifiers and repeaters, between a central office and a subscriber termination. The absence of active electronic devices may decrease network complexity and/or cost and may increase network reliability.

FIG. 1 illustrates a network 100 deploying passive fiber optic lines. As shown, the network 100 can include a central office 110 that connects a number of end subscribers 115 (also called end users 115 herein) in a network. The central office 110 can additionally connect to a larger network such as the Internet (not shown) and a public switched telephone network (PSTN). The network 100 can also include fiber distribution hubs (FDHs) 130 having one or more optical splitters (e.g., 1-to-8 splitters, 1-to-16 splitters, or 1-to-32 splitters) that generate a number of individual fibers that may lead to the premises of an end user 115. The various lines of the network can be aerial or housed within underground conduits.

The portion of network 100 that is closest to central office 110 is generally referred to as the F1 region, where F1 is the “feeder fiber” from the central office. The F1 portion of the network may include a distribution cable having on the order of 12 to 48 fibers; however, alternative implementations can include fewer or more fibers. The portion of network 100 that includes an FDH 130 and a number of end users 115 can be referred to as an F2 portion of network 100. The network 100 includes a plurality of break-out locations 125 at which branch cables are separated out from main cable lines. Branch cables are often connected to drop terminals 104 that include connector interfaces for facilitating coupling the fibers of the branch cables to a plurality of different subscriber locations.

Deployment, otherwise known as payout, of telecommunications cable lines can be performed in a variety of ways. One prior method includes winding the telecommunications cable around a cylindrical spool, placing a rod through the center of the spool, transporting the spool to a deployment site, and unwinding the telecommunications cable by pulling the cable end located on the outside of the spool. Typically, the inside (radially inward) end of the wound cable is fixed in relation to spool rotation and cannot be accessed until the cable has been unwound.

One disadvantage to such a method is that only one end of the telecommunications cable is accessible when the spool is wound. In some cases, the cables are connectorized at one end and unconnectorized at the opposite end. For example, with reference to fiber optic cables, the connectorized end is useful for optically coupling the fibers of the cable to other connectorized fibers and the unconnectorized end is useful for splicing the fibers of the cable to another cable, such as a stub cable. Using the method described above, a technician cannot choose which end of the cable would be most beneficial to access first.

There exists a need in the art for better telecommunications cable storage and deployment systems and methods.

SUMMARY

Certain aspects of the disclosure relate to the storage and deployment of telecommunications cables.

A variety of additional inventive aspects will be set forth in the description that follows. The inventive aspects can relate to individual features and to combinations of features. It is to be understood that both the forgoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only and are not restrictive of the broad inventive concepts upon which the embodiments disclosed herein are based.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a prior art passive fiber optic network;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an example first payout arrangement having features that are examples of inventive aspects in accordance with the principles of the present disclosure;

FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of a length of telecommunications cable arranged in a first cable arrangement on the payout arrangement of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a length of telecommunications cable wrapped in the first cable arrangement on the first payout arrangement of FIG. 2;

FIGS. 5-7 are schematic diagrams illustrating how to wind a length of telecommunications cable in a second cable arrangement on the payout arrangement of FIG. 2;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a length of telecommunications cable wrapped in the second cable arrangement on the first payout arrangement of FIG. 2;

FIG. 9 is a front perspective view of a second payout arrangement having features that are examples of inventive aspects in accordance with the principles of the present disclosure;

FIG. 10 is a rear perspective view of the second payout arrangement of FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a schematic diagram illustrating one example cable arrangement for a length of telecommunications cable arranged within the second payout arrangement of FIG. 9;

FIG. 12 is a front perspective view of the second payout arrangement of FIG. 9 arranged in a deployment position;

FIG. 13 is a front perspective view of a length of telecommunications cable being unwound from the second payout arrangement of FIG. 9 along a pull direction;

FIG. 14 is a front perspective view of a third payout arrangement having features that are examples of inventive aspects in accordance with the principles of the present disclosure;

FIG. 15 is a front view of the third payout arrangement of FIG. 14;

FIG. 16 is a cross-sectional view taken along the 16-16 line of FIG. 15;

FIG. 17 is a cross-sectional view taken along the 17-17 line of FIG. 16;

FIG. 18 is a cross-sectional view that would result if the payout arrangement of FIG. 17 had only one spacer instead of four;

FIG. 19 is a perspective view of the third payout arrangement of FIG. 14 and a housing;

FIG. 20 is a cross-sectional view taken along the 20-20 line of FIG. 19;

FIG. 21 is a perspective view of the third payout arrangement and housing of FIG. 19 showing the housing in an open position; and

FIG. 22 is a partial view of a cable drop terminal being position within the housing of the third payout arrangement of FIG. 21.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Aspects of the present disclosure relate to the storage and deployment of telecommunications cables, such as fiber optic cables and copper cables. Referring to the figures in general, a telecommunications cable 210 extends from a first end 212 to a second end 214. The cable 210 can range in length from about 300 feet to about 3000 feet or more. The payout arrangements disclosed herein enable either end 212, 214 of the telecommunications cable 210 to be accessed at the option of the user.

In some embodiments, one end 212, 214 of the cable 210 can be terminated at a connector, such as a fiber optic connector, or at telecommunications equipment, such as a drop terminal. Details regarding an example drop terminal can be found in copending application Ser. No. 11/075,847, filed Mar. 8, 2005, and titled “FIBER ACCESS TERMINAL,” the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference. The opposite end 212, 214 can be connectorized or unconnectorized. In other embodiments, either both ends can be connectorized or both ends can be unconnectorized.

Referring to FIGS. 2-8, a length of telecommunications cable 210 (FIG. 3) can be arranged on a first payout arrangement 300 (FIG. 2) to enable access to both a first end 212 (FIG. 3) and a second end 214 (FIG. 3) of the cable 210. In certain embodiments, about half of the cable 210 is wrapped around a first spool 320 and the other half of the cable 210 is wrapped around a second spool 330 of the payout arrangement 300 (e.g., see FIG. 4). In such embodiments, each end 212, 214 of the cable 210 is accessible from a separate spool 320, 330.

FIG. 2 illustrates the example payout arrangement 300 including a base 310 having a front surface 302 and a back surface 304. In the example shown, the base 310 is circular. In other embodiments, however, the base 310 can be any desired shape. In general, the base 310 is configured to enable the payout arrangement 300 to mount for transport from a factory to a deployment site.

In certain embodiments, the base 310 defines a through opening 315 configured to receive a rod (not shown) to enable the base 310 to rotate about an axis RB. Typically, the through opening 315 is located in the center of the base 310. In other embodiments, however, the base 310 is not configured to rotate. In such embodiments, the back surface 304 of the base 310 can be laid on a surface during deployment. In one such embodiment, the base 310 can be anchored to a surface by a fastener inserted through the opening 315.

A first spool member 320 and a second spool member 330 are rotatably mounted on the front surface 302 of the base 310. In certain embodiments, the spools 320, 330 are mounted on opposite sides of the opening 315. Each spool member 320, 330 is configured to rotate about a central axis C1, C2, respectively. In the example shown, the spool members 320, 330 are generally cylindrical. However, spool members of different shapes can also be used.

In certain embodiments, each spool member 320, 330 includes a middle portion 326, 336, respectively, extending between a first end portion 322, 332, respectively, and a second end portion 324, 334, respectively. In other embodiments, however, the middle portions 326, 336 may extend directly from the base 310. Generally, the middle sections 326, 336 have diameters D1, D2, respectively, ranging from about 1.5 feet to about 6 feet. The second ends 324, 334 are generally sized to retain the telecommunications cable 210 wound onto the middle portions 326, 336.

FIGS. 3-4 illustrate one cable arrangement 250 in which the cable 210 can be wrapped around the first spool member 320 and the second member 330. An intermediate section 216 of the cable 210 extends straight between the first and second members 220, 230 (e.g., see FIG. 3) and the first and second ends 212, 214 are wrapped around the first and second spool members 320, 330, respectively (e.g., see FIG. 4). Such a configuration resembles the winding pattern of tape on a cassette deck. One end 212, 214 of the cable 210 is accessible from each spool 320, 330.

FIGS. 5-8 illustrate another cable arrangement 260 in which the cable 210 can be wrapped around the first spool member 320 and the second member 330 of the first payout arrangement 300. The intermediate section 216 of the cable 210 wraps around the first and second members 220, 230 once in a “figure 8” pattern (e.g., see FIGS. 5-7) and the first and second ends 212, 214 are then coiled around the first and second members 320, 330, respectively to take up the remaining cable 210 (e.g., see FIG. 8). One end 212, 214 of the cable 210 is accessible from each spool 320, 330.

In use, a user grasps one of the ends 212, 214 of the cable 210 and pulls in a direction away from the payout arrangement 300 to deploy the cable 220 at an installation site. Because both ends 212, 214 are accessible to the user (i.e., one end 212, 214 extends from each spool 320, 330), the user can choose which end 212, 214 to pull based on where and how the cable 210 is being installed. In either cable arrangement 250 or cable arrangement 260, pulling on one of the ends 212, 214 entrains the spools 320, 330 to spin, enabling the length of telecommunications cable 210 to unwind from the payout arrangement 300.

When a sufficient amount of cable 210 has been unwound, the cable 210 can be connected (e.g., optically, electrically, etc.) to a telecommunications network (e.g., see FIG. 1). In one embodiment, a fiber optic cable 210 can be spliced to another fiber optic cable (not shown). In another embodiment, one end of a copper cable 210 can be electrically coupled to another copper cable (not shown). In other embodiments, the cable 210 is optically coupled to telecommunications equipment.

Referring now to FIGS. 9-13, a length of telecommunications cable 210 can be arranged on a second payout arrangement 400 to enable access to both the first end 212 and the second end 214 of the cable 210. The second payout arrangement 400 includes a container 410 having a top side 401 (FIG. 9) and a bottom side 403 (FIG. 10). In one embodiment, the container 410 is formed from cardboard or paperboard. In other embodiments, however, the container 410 can be formed from any desired material.

The container 410 includes opposing side panels 402, 404 and opposing ends panels 406, 408 extending between the side panels 402, 404. The side panels 402, 404 and end panels 406, 408 define an interior 415 (FIG. 9). The top side 401 of the container 410 includes cover panels 411 hingedly coupled to the side panels 402, 404 of the container 410. Tab panels 413 are hingedly coupled to the end panels 406, 408 of the container 410. The cover panels 411 and tab panels 413 can pivot between an open position (FIG. 9) in which the interior 415 can be accessed through the top side 401 of the container 410 and a closed position (not shown).

The bottom side 403 of the container 410 is generally a mirror-image of the top side 401. The bottom side 403 includes cover panels 417 hingedly coupled to the side panels 402, 404 and tab panels (not shown) hingedly coupled to the end panels 406, 408 of the container 410. By first flipping the container 410 upside-down, the cover panels 417 and tab panels can be pivoted between an open position (not shown) in which the interior 415 can be accessed through the bottom side 403 of the container 410 and a closed position (FIG. 10). Typically, when the cover panels 417 and tab panels on the bottom side 403 are open, the cover panels 411, 413 on the top side 401 are closed and vice versa.

In general, the interior 415 is configured to retain a telecommunications cable 210 wound in one of multiple cable arrangements. In the example shown in FIG. 11, the cable 210 can be arranged in a “continuous FIG. 8” arrangement 270. This arrangement 270 lays the first end 212 of the cable 210 along the top side 401 of the container 410 and continuously wraps the cable 210 in a “FIG. 8” pattern. The second end 214 of the cable 210 finishes at the bottom side 403 of the container 410. The first end 212, therefore, is accessible from the top side 401 of the container 410 and the second end 214 is accessible from the bottom side 403.

This arrangement 270 differs from the cable arrangement 260 shown in FIG. 8. In cable arrangement 260, only the intermediate section 216 forms a “figure 8” pattern. The first end 212 of the cable 210 is wrapped in a coil around the first spool member 320 and the second end 224 of the cable 210 is wrapped in a coil around the second spool member 330 (e.g., see FIG. 8). In contrast, in cable arrangement 270, the entire cable is wound in the “figure 8” pattern. In one embodiment, a zip-tie or other fastener can secure the cable 210 in the desired arrangement.

In certain embodiments, the interior 415 is configured to hold first and second guides 420, 430 (FIG. 9) to aid in creating and maintaining the cable 210 in the cable arrangements, such as cable arrangement 270. The first and second guides 420, 430 extend from the top side 401 to the bottom side 403 of the interior 415 of the container 410. The first and second guides 420, 430 are generally aligned and spaced from one another along a longitudinal axis AL (FIG. 11) of the container 410.

In some embodiments, the first and second guides 420, 430 are generally cylindrical. In other embodiments, however, the guides 420, 430 can be any desired shape. The guides 420, 430 can be fixedly mounted within the container 410. For example, in one embodiment, adhesive can be applied to either side of the guides 420, 430 to affix the guides 420, 430 to the tab panels 413 on either side 401, 403 of the container 410. Typically, the adhesive has sufficient strength to enable a user to pull the tab panels 413 on one side 401, 403 away from the guides 420, 430 and into an open position (FIG. 9) without damaging the tab panels 413 or the guides 420, 430. In other embodiments, the guides 420, 430 are not secured to the container or the container 410 does not include guides 420, 430.

In some embodiments, the container 410 also includes one or more outer guides 440. In a preferred embodiment, the container 410 holds an outer guide 442, 444, 446, 448 in each corner, respectively, of the container 410. The outer guides 440 facilitate routing and inhibit tangling of the cable 210. The outer guides 440 can also aid in maintaining the shape of the cable arrangement into which the cable 210 is arranged. In some embodiments, the outer guides 440 include foam inserts. In other embodiments, however, the outer guides 440 can be formed from any desired material or monolithically formed with the container 410.

Referring to FIGS. 12-13, in use, the cable 210 can be accessed from either the top side 401 or the bottom side 403 of the container 410, depending on which end 212, 214 of the cable 210 a user desires to access in a given application. First, the container 410 is oriented so the appropriate side 401, 403 is accessible and then the appropriate side 401, 403 is arranged in a deployment position (e.g., see FIG. 12). If a fastener, such as a zip-tie, is coupled to the cable 210 to maintain the cable 210 in a cable arrangement, such as cable arrangement 270, then the fastener can be removed either before or after arranging the container 410 in the deployment position.

In the deployment position, the tab panels are positioned at an angle between the cover panels and the rest of the container 410. The cover panels and the tab panels are coupled together to form a generally funnel-shaped opening through which the cable 210 can pass. In some embodiments, the cover panels and the tab panels can be interlocked together. For example, as shown in FIGS. 12 and 13, tabs 414 on tab panels 413 can be bent towards cover panels 411 and slid into slots 412 defined in the cover panels 411. The tabs 414 are configured to remain in the slots 412 even against the force of the cable 210 being unwound and being pulled out from the container 410. In other embodiments, the cover panels can be otherwise affixed or fastened to the tab panels.

When configured in the deployment position, the cover panels are angled between the open position and the closed position to form a slit through which the interior 415 of the container 410 can be accessed (e.g., see FIGS. 12 and 13). Typically, the slit has a width extending between the two cover panels 411 of about two to about seven inches. In a preferred embodiment, the slit has a width of about four to about five inches. Configuring the container 410 into the deployment position helps to control the egress of the cable 210 from the container 410 and to inhibit tangling of the cable 210. For example, the cover panels 411 and tab panels 413 define a limited space or slot through which the cable 210 can exit the container 410 (see FIG. 12).

The desired end 212, 214 of the cable 210 can be pulled out of the container 410 through the slot along a pull direction P1 after the container 410 has been arranged in the deployment position (e.g., see FIG. 13). The pull direction P1 extends generally away from the container 410. As the cable 210 is pulled, the cable 210 unwinds from the container 410. In some embodiments, the cable 210 also unwinds from the guides 420, 430.

Referring now to FIGS. 14-22, a third example of a payout arrangement 500, which has features that are examples of inventive aspects in accordance with the principles of the present disclosure, is shown. As shown in FIG. 14, the third payout arrangement 500 includes a spool 510 having a middle section 516 extending longitudinally from a first end 512 to a second end 514. The spool 510 defines a passage 515 extending longitudinally through the spool 510 along a central axis C3. The spool 510 can be rotatably mounted on a rod 550 (see FIG. 20) by sliding a rod 550 through the passage 515.

In certain embodiments, at least one spacer 520 is removably coupled to the spool 510. In the example shown, four spacers 520 are coupled to the spool 510 at equidistant points. Each spacer 520 has an extension member 522 and a coupling member 524. Typically, the coupling member 524 mounts to the end 514 of the spool 510. For example, the coupling member 524 can mount to the end 514 using fasteners, such as screws. In other embodiments, however, the coupling member 524 can be secured to the spool 510 by any desired attachment techniques or by the telecommunications cable 210 itself.

The extension member 522 protrudes longitudinally along the spool 510 from the coupling member 524 (e.g., see FIG. 17). In general, the spacers 520 are configured to enable a length of telecommunications cable 210 to be wrapped in a coil 225 around the middle section 516 of the spool 510 and/or the extension members 522. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 17, the coil 225 wraps around four spacers 520 and does not contact the spool 510. In other embodiments, however, the coil 225 can wrap around the middle section 516 of the spool 510 and one or more spacers 520 (e.g., see FIG. 18).

The middle section 516 of the spool 510 has a diameter D1 (FIG. 16). Each spacer 520 has a height H (FIG. 17). The coil 225, therefore, has an inner diameter D2 greater than the spool diameter D1 at least by the value of H (e.g., see FIG. 18). In general, the height H of the spacers 520 ranges from about an ⅛th of an inch to about two inches. In a preferred embodiment, the height of the spacers are about ½ of an inch. In certain embodiments, the extension members 522 of the spacers 520 can be spaced a distance D3 from the middle section 516 (e.g., see FIG. 16). Spacing the extension members 522 further increases the inner diameter D2 of the coil 225.

In use, the spacers 520 can be removed from the spool 510 to enable the cable 210 to be unwound from either end 212, 214. After the spacers 520 have been removed, the coil 225 retains the inner diameter D2 that is greater than the diameter D1 of the spool 510. The inner end 212, 214 of the cable 210 is accessible by reaching into the center of the coil 225, and grabbing and pulling the end 212, 214 out from the coil 225. The outer end 212, 214 is accessible from the outside of the coil 225. In certain embodiments, the spool 510 spins when either of the two ends 212, 214 of the cable 210 is pulled.

Referring to FIGS. 19-22, the payout arrangement 500 can include a housing 540. The housing includes a front panel 542 spaced from a rear panel 544. A side panel 546 extends between the front and rear panels 542, 544. In some embodiments, the front and rear panel 542, 544 are generally circular and the side panel 546 forms a continuous curve. In other embodiments, however, the housing 540 can be any desired shape.

In certain embodiments, the housing 540 is configured to pivot from a closed position (FIG. 19) to an open position (FIG. 21). For example, as shown in FIG. 21, a hinge 548 can be coupled to the side wall 546 to enable a portion of the front, rear, and side panels 542, 544, 546 to pivot about the hinge 548. Pivoting the housing 540 into an open position facilitates access to the interior 545 of the housing 540.

In general, the interior 545 includes a ring of space in which the cable 210 can be located when coiled around the spool 510 and/or spacers 520. In some embodiments, the interior 545 is sufficiently large to accommodate one or more connectors or connector terminals at one of the ends 212, 214 of the cable 210 (e.g., see FIG. 22).

In some embodiments, the front panel 542 of the housing 540 defines one or more openings 541 through which one end 212, 214 of the cable 210 can be inserted. In a preferred embodiment, at least two openings 541 are spaced approximately equidistant apart along the front panel 542. Sliding one end 212, 214 of the cable 210 through the hole 541 facilitates locating the end 212, 214 during deployment and inhibits unwinding of the coil 225 during storage or shipping of the payout arrangement 500 to the installation site.

From the forgoing detailed description, it will be evident that modifications and variations can be made in the devices of the disclosure without departing from the spirit or scope of the disclosure. For example, while some of the embodiments described above have been discussed in terms of fiber optic cable systems, persons having skill in the art will note the teachings of this disclosure are equally applicable to copper or other types of telecommunications cable systems.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US889109Apr 20, 1907May 26, 1908Howe And Davidson CompanyContainer.
US1936227Jan 8, 1932Nov 21, 1933C And W Wire Container CompanyWire container
US2047152Oct 22, 1932Jul 7, 1936Galvin Mfg CorpAutomobile radio cable
US2932465Feb 14, 1956Apr 12, 1960Johnson Lorain ASpinning reel
US3150769Sep 6, 1962Sep 29, 1964South River Metal Products CoWire packaging and handling device
US3389868Sep 8, 1966Jun 25, 1968IttDevice for coiled stowage of cables
US3680810Feb 16, 1971Aug 1, 1972Saxton Products IncPay-out container for spooled wire and analogous elongated elements
US3691505Aug 20, 1970Sep 12, 1972Gen ElectricHeater cable splice and method of forming
US3780964Feb 9, 1972Dec 25, 1973Fernandez Colmeiro SaDispenser housing for wire and the like
US3823894Jan 4, 1973Jul 16, 1974Anaconda CoStrand package
US3845552Apr 23, 1973Nov 5, 1974 Method of making an encapsulated assembly
US3879575Feb 21, 1974Apr 22, 1975Bell Telephone Labor IncEncapsulating compound and closure
US3912854Jul 12, 1971Oct 14, 1975Gillemot George WEncapsulated conductor junction
US3912855Dec 30, 1974Oct 14, 1975Gillemot George WEncapsulating splice assembly
US3960313Nov 15, 1974Jun 1, 1976Stolmar CorporationAutomatic setup carton constructions
US3982712Nov 28, 1975Sep 28, 1976Bassett Eugene ECoil dispenser
US4085286Aug 4, 1975Apr 18, 1978Raychem CorporationHeat-recoverable sealing article with self-contained heating means and method of sealing a splice therewith
US4107451Nov 19, 1975Aug 15, 1978Trech, Inc.Reinforced splice joint and method of making same
US4152539Oct 21, 1977May 1, 1979Northern Telecom LimitedTelecommunication cable splices
US4322573Mar 11, 1980Mar 30, 1982Northern Telecom LimitedEncapsulation of telecommunications cable splices
US4343844Nov 17, 1980Aug 10, 1982Eaton CorporationShrinkable sleeve adapted for cable and tubing gas flow blocking
US4405083Mar 19, 1982Sep 20, 1983Northern Telecom LimitedMoulding apparatus for encapsulating cable splices
US4413881Oct 19, 1981Nov 8, 1983Northern Telecom LimitedOptical fiber hermetic seal
US4467137Jun 21, 1982Aug 21, 1984Raychem LimitedCable breakout article
US4475935Jul 22, 1982Oct 9, 1984Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Public CorporationRemoving exterior coating, then melt-joining, then molding an coating
US4481380Aug 26, 1982Nov 6, 1984Alden Research FoundationHigh voltage insulator for electrical components having telescoping insulative sleeves
US4490315Oct 31, 1983Dec 25, 1984Northern Telecom LimitedMethods of moulding of plastics articles
US4512628May 31, 1983Apr 23, 1985Gte Products CorporationSplice casing assembly
US4528150Aug 30, 1983Jul 9, 1985Northern Telecom LimitedMethods and apparatus for sealing articles
US4528419Dec 12, 1983Jul 9, 1985Northern Telecom LimitedForming of cable splice closures
US4549039Jun 10, 1983Oct 22, 1985Northern Telecom LimitedTelecommunications cable splice closures
US4550220Nov 4, 1983Oct 29, 1985National Industries, Inc.For covering exposed metal conductors in an electric connection
US4556281Dec 19, 1983Dec 3, 1985Gte Products CorporationEnd plug for a fiber optic in-line splice case assembly
US4570032Sep 7, 1984Feb 11, 1986Northern Telecom LimitedSealing closure for a cable splice
US4581480Sep 7, 1984Apr 8, 1986Northern Telecom LimitedCable splice closure and strain relief
US4589939Feb 15, 1985May 20, 1986Raychem CorporationPositioning between conductors or cores
US4591330Nov 5, 1984May 27, 1986Northern Telecom LimitedMoulding equipment
US4592721Oct 15, 1984Jun 3, 1986Northern Telecom LimitedApparatus for sealably encapsulating articles
US4595256Apr 5, 1983Jun 17, 1986Les Cables De LyonConnection between the ends of two undersea optical fiber cables and method of manufacturing said connection
US4609773Jul 8, 1985Sep 2, 1986Northern Telecom LimitedMold for providing an encapsulation around a cable
US4625073Mar 11, 1985Nov 25, 1986Raychem CorporationCable having a branch-off region sealed with a branch-off article and method of making same
US4629597Jul 8, 1985Dec 16, 1986Northern Telecom LimitedForming of cable splice closures
US4648606Jul 8, 1985Mar 10, 1987Northern Telecom LimitedSeals
US4648919Aug 15, 1985Mar 10, 1987Raychem Corp.Sealing
US4654474Jul 8, 1985Mar 31, 1987Northern Telecom LimitedForming of cable splice closures
US4657165Sep 30, 1985Apr 14, 1987Giroux D WilliamMechanical means for preventing the twisting of a fiber optic cable while temporarily storing the same
US4666537Dec 29, 1981May 19, 1987Thomas & Betts CorporationMethod of sealing and repairing electrical cables
US4670069Nov 25, 1985Jun 2, 1987Raychem Corp.Protection of cable splice
US4670980Nov 22, 1985Jun 9, 1987Northern Telecom LimitedManufacture of sealing closures for a telecommunications cable splice
US4678866Jul 8, 1985Jul 7, 1987Northern Telecom LimitedForming of cable splice closures
US4684764Dec 9, 1985Aug 4, 1987Amerace CorporationHigh voltage cable splice protector
US4687154Nov 21, 1985Aug 18, 1987University Of Tennessee Research CorporationDevice for handling and storage of extension cords and the like
US4701574May 2, 1985Oct 20, 1987Raychem Corp.Cable sealing apparatus
US4725035Nov 22, 1985Feb 16, 1988Northern Telecom LimitedLow pressure mold
US4732628Jan 30, 1987Mar 22, 1988Thomas & Betts CorporationMethod of sealing and repairing electrical cables
US4747020May 16, 1986May 24, 1988Adc Telecommunications, Inc.Wire distribution apparatus
US4761052Dec 23, 1986Aug 2, 1988N. V. Raychem S.A.Optical fibre splice case
US4764232Sep 26, 1986Aug 16, 1988Raychem CorporationForming a flexible reservoir; filling same with a curable sealant
US4779784Aug 18, 1986Oct 25, 1988Giroux D WilliamMechanical means for preventing the twisting of a fiber optic cable while temporarily storing the same
US4818824Aug 19, 1987Apr 4, 1989American Telephone And Telegraph Company, At&T Bell LaboratoriesClosure for aerial telephone cable splices
US4822434Nov 30, 1987Apr 18, 1989Yazaki CorporationMethod for forming cover layer over wire joint
US4840449Jan 27, 1988Jun 20, 1989American Telephone And Telegraph Company, At&T Bell LaboratoriesOptical fiber splice organizer
US4844376Feb 5, 1988Jul 4, 1989Patents Unlimited, Inc.Reel dispenser for cable or wire
US4846343Apr 11, 1988Jul 11, 1989Amp IncorporatedPackaging for coiled fiber optic cable assemblies
US4875952Feb 8, 1988Oct 24, 1989American Telephone And Telegraph Company, At&T Bell LaboratoriesForced encapsulation means for a cable
US4884863Mar 6, 1989Dec 5, 1989Siecor CorporationOptical fiber splicing enclosure for installation in pedestals
US4901939Aug 7, 1986Feb 20, 1990Siecor CorporationReel
US4913512Dec 27, 1988Apr 3, 1990Gte Products CorporationFiber optic in-line splice case assembly
US4961623Sep 5, 1989Oct 9, 1990Siecor CorporationPreterminated optical cable
US4963698Sep 15, 1989Oct 16, 1990Raychem CorporationCable sealing
US5004315Jun 25, 1990Apr 2, 1991Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd.Optical cable and optical cable line
US5042901Jul 31, 1990Aug 27, 1991Siecor CorporationPreconnectorized optical splice closure
US5046811Jun 7, 1990Sep 10, 1991Jung Roger EJunction box for optical communications cords, and gland assembly for cord
US5054868Aug 29, 1990Oct 8, 1991The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The NavyArmored optical fiber cable interconnection for dual payout systems
US5066095Feb 8, 1991Nov 19, 1991Alcatel CableJointing box for optical fiber cables
US5074808Feb 6, 1991Dec 24, 1991Amp IncorporatedMolded strain relief in back shell
US5078332Nov 2, 1990Jan 7, 1992Carter E RayDispenser for plastic flex conduit
US5097529Mar 22, 1991Mar 17, 1992At&T Bell LaboratoriesSpace-saving optical fiber cable closure
US5099088Jun 7, 1990Mar 24, 1992Three Bond Co., Ltd.Means for splicing wires
US5109983Jan 28, 1991May 5, 1992Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanyPackage for an optical fiber jumper
US5115105Feb 21, 1990May 19, 1992Amphenol CorporationOverbraided in-line data bus loom
US5121458Apr 5, 1991Jun 9, 1992Alcatel Na Cable Systems, Inc.Preterminated fiber optic cable
US5125060Apr 5, 1991Jun 23, 1992Alcatel Na Cable Systems, Inc.Fiber optic cable having spliceless fiber branch and method of making
US5150789Jan 31, 1991Sep 29, 1992At&T Bell LaboratoriesPackage of elongated strand material and carton blank thereof
US5183217 *Mar 31, 1992Feb 2, 1993The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The NavyCable pack winding and payout system
US5185844Jul 29, 1991Feb 9, 1993At&T Bell LaboratoriesClosure for optical fiber connective arrangements and method of providing same
US5193756Jun 24, 1991Mar 16, 1993Hughes Aircraft CompanyFigure eight linear dispenser
US5193758Feb 26, 1990Mar 16, 1993Bruderer AgApparatus for holding and for unwinding coils
US5194692Jun 12, 1992Mar 16, 1993Amphenol CorporationUncased data bus coupler
US5210812Jun 8, 1992May 11, 1993Alcatel Na Cable Systems, Inc.Optical fiber cable having spliced fiber branch and method of making the same
US5217808Nov 29, 1989Jun 8, 1993At&T Bell LaboratoriesWater blocked cable portion and methods of making same
US5222683May 15, 1992Jun 29, 1993Blackshire Glen MWire dispensing apparatus
US5241611Oct 4, 1990Aug 31, 1993British Telecommunications Public Limited CompanyCable joint
US5245151Nov 27, 1991Sep 14, 1993Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanyMethod and article for microwave bonding of splice closure
US5284323 *Feb 6, 1992Feb 8, 1994Pawkett James PApparatus for marine seismic cable retrieval and deployment
US5335408Feb 24, 1993Aug 9, 1994At&T Bell LaboratoriesMethod of making a water blocked optical fiber cable
US5347089Jun 20, 1991Sep 13, 1994Raychem LimitedBranch off
US5353367Nov 29, 1993Oct 4, 1994Northern Telecom LimitedDistribution frame and optical connector holder combination
US5376196Jun 29, 1993Dec 27, 1994Kabelmetal Electro GmbhMethod for sealing the end of a heat-shrunk sleeve
US5378853Jan 27, 1993Jan 3, 1995FilotexShielded multibranch harness
US5394502Dec 21, 1993Feb 28, 1995United Technologies CorporationFiber optic cable harness break-out fitting
Non-Patent Citations
Reference
1"Cable Assemblies: Molding & Termination," http://www.dgo.com/prodcable.htm, 8 pages (Copyright 2001), no month.
2"DAM/BLOK(TM) Electrical Splice Kit, " http://www.pmiind.com/products/damblok.html, 2 pages (Copyright 2000), no month.
3"Factory Installed Termination System for Fiber Optic Cable Splices," 1 page (admitted as prior art as of Aug. 9, 2006).
4"Installation Instructions for Pre-Connectorized MIC(R) Cable (2-6 Fiber) Equipped with Plug & Play(TM) Systems Pulling Grips," Corning Cable Systems, Issue 7, pp. 1-3 (Jul. 2001).
5"Pre-Connectorized (4-24 Fiber) Fiber Optic Cables Equipped with Plug & Play(TM) Systems Pulling Sleeves and Grips," Corning Cable Systems, Issue 1, pp. 1-7 (Mar. 2005).
6Declaration of Randy Reagan; 2 pages; signed Sep. 11, 2008.
7English translation of JP 2003-329851 published Nov. 19, 2003, which was previously submitted in the IDS filed Jan. 7, 2008 (26 pages).
8English translation of PCT/JP2006/300929 published (19 pages).
9International Search Report and Written Opinion mailed Feb. 6, 2008.
10Invitation to Pay Additional Fees with International Search Report mailed Dec. 6, 2007.
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8238707Jul 30, 2009Aug 7, 2012Adc Telecommunications, Inc.Locking spool for telecommunications cable and method
US8474742Jul 30, 2009Jul 2, 2013Adc Telecommunications, Inc.Spool for telecommunications cable and method
US8720810Feb 11, 2011May 13, 2014Adc Telecommunications, Inc.Spool for telecommunications cable and method
US8731362Jul 25, 2012May 20, 2014Teledyne Instruments, Inc.Optical fiber management device
US20100193288 *Sep 18, 2008Aug 5, 2010Juancarlos ColoradoCompact bailout pouch with rope coiling apparatus
WO2013122618A1 *Jul 25, 2012Aug 22, 2013Stillwater TrustOptical fiber management device
Classifications
U.S. Classification385/135, 385/100
International ClassificationG02B6/44, G02B6/00
Cooperative ClassificationH02G11/02, G02B6/4457, B65H49/322, B65H49/20, B65H55/04
European ClassificationB65H49/20, B65H55/04, G02B6/44C8B, H02G11/02, B65H49/32C
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 14, 2013FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Dec 1, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: ADC TELECOMMUNICATIONS, INC., MINNESOTA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:GNIADEK, JEFF;GRONVALL, ERIK;MARCOUILLER, TOM;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:018588/0437;SIGNING DATES FROM 20061114 TO 20061127